Saturday, September 9, 2017

La Colombe Draft Latte


I had some work in the US not too long ago and on the way out I stopped at a Target...and it was awesome. In Canada, it is a huge thing when a new energy drink comes out, but it seems like there is a constant trickle of products south of the border (the Canadian border that is) La Colombe is a brand that is completely new to me so I picked up as many of their products as I could fine. The Draft Latte is the first of the reviews.

Taste

First off, I love the silky smooth texture, color, and frothy top of this beverage. The aroma is nothing to write home about as it resembles any other canned latte/coffee. But the flavor...oh boy! I was expecting a sugary iced coffee, but instead I got a latte with barely any sugar in it. I was not prepared. This taste like something you would get in a coffee shop that knows what they are doing - a shot (actually should be 2) of espresso with steamed milk and no added sugar. There is a hint of sweetness, though. And there are 11 grams of sugar in the can, but there is no actual added sugar so it must come from one of the primary ingredients.

The actual coffee flavor is great too. It is light and smooth and doesn't hit you until the very end. Up until then the flavors are balanced well with the milk. This is great!

Energy

There are 120 mg of "natural caffeine" in the can. I think the company really wants to make sure the consumers knows that there are no chemical additions that boost the caffeine levels.

The effects are like with any latte with little no to sugar. The kick comes in later but there are no jitters or a crash and you get a nice buzz for at least an hour and a half to two hours.

Scores:
Cost - $2.79
Taste - 9/10
Energy - 7/10

Overall - 16/20...one of the better canned coffees on the market

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Red Bull The Summer Edition Pink Grapefruit


I am guessing The Summer Edition has become an annual line-up changer for Red Bull because this is the third different flavor of Summer Edition I have seen in Canada in the last 3 years. There was the yellow one in 2014 and the green one in 2016. And now...Mr. Pink.

Taste

First off the contents of this can are just a shade lighter than the color of the label. Its insides smell like liquefied sugar, grapefruit (actually this one is awesome) and lemonade....so like a super sweet pink lemonade. The taste is similar but starts off with almost no flavor with citrus being quite predominant towards the end. The finish is heavy on the grapefruit with a long-lingering refreshing afternote, which I really enjoyed.

But overall, the taste is all over the place so I am not sure how to feel about this new Pink Grapefruit Summer Edition. It sure is refreshing but so is freshly squeezed lemon sugary water....aka lemonade.

Energy

The kick is as expected of Red Bull with the can packing the typical 114 mg of caffeine. Not much to say here.

Scores:
Cost - $3.29
Taste - 7/10
Energy - 7/10

Overall - 14/20...not my most favorite Summer Edition, but it is refreshing

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reize Energy Drink Review


A box of Reize was sent to me for a review all the way from Australia. You can't purchase Reize in stores, but you can get a monthly subscription to satisfy your caffeine needs.

Taste

First off, Reize doesn't dissolve as easily as other instant drinks. I had to go back to stirring a few times until all of the powder was gone from the bottom. But once the powder has been properly dissolved the end result is a clear, Red Bull-like mixture. It even smells like it.

The flavor is unlike anything I was expecting...in a veeeery good way. It is a mix between cola, gummy bears and just a distant hint of Red Bull-like berries. Love it! This has to be one of the most unique flavors I have ever tried. There are no weird off-flavors, or artificial sweetener notes, or caffeine bitterness...it is just sweet cola, gummy bears, and some of the familiar Red Bull with an interesting cane sugar-like round finish. Even the sweetness is well balanced and does not build up. I am surprised by how much flavor there is in such a small sachet of instant drink. Amazing!

Energy

Each sachet contains 50 mg of caffeine which is on the low end of the energy spectrum, but because there are multiple sachets, there is nothing stopping you from using multiple for a stronger kick...except common sense. After all, this is still an energy product so you should be careful.

One sachet is enough to give a short burst of uncontrollable energy. When I had one first thing in the morning, my mind was racing within 15-20 minutes and I was ready to run around in circles. Unfortunately for me, I had to do some paperwork at the time. The energy was way too rough for mental tasks, but this is perfect for physical exercise.

Scores:
Cost - unsure
Taste - 9.5/10...I just love this flavor
Energy - 5/10 to 10/10...depending on how many sachets you use

Overall - 14.5/20 to 19.5/20...very unique flavor

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Nescafe Original Iced Coffee Review


About a month ago without any fanfare, Nescafe introduced a couple of iced coffees in cans to the Canadian market. I originally came across these at a WalMart and have yet to see them elsewhere.

Taste

Out of the can, the original Nescafe looks like any other canned iced coffee. The only distinguishing feature is the bolder coffee aroma.

The flavor is watery at first but builds up a tiny bit after a couple of sips. The mouthfeel is thin and doesn't change. Normally the added milk bulks up the mouthfeel, but whatever has been added to this coffee doesn't do a good job.

If you ignore the watery nature of the flavor, the coffee part is very decent. Once the flavors build up a bit, you can tell that the coffee that was used for this drink is of a good calibre. The only problem is that more should have been used.

Energy

There is no mentioning of caffeine content, but I would guess that it falls somewhere in the 80 to 100 mg range. After 15-20 minutes I started to feel awake and even a bit focused despite feeling a wave of jitters coming. Another 10-15 minutes I was feeling rather energized and ready for physical activities. The kick lasted for about 1.5 - 2 hours and finished without any drama.

Scores:
Cost - $2 (promotion)
Taste - 7.5/10
Energy - 6/10

Overall - 13.5/20...has the potential but needs more coffee

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Marley One Drop Banana Split Coffee


I was finally able to find a stash of the new Marley One Drop coffees. Every since I saw and tried the new Vanilla Swirl, I have been obsessing over the other new flavors. And now I found it when I walked into a Bulk Barn looking for baking yeast. Awesome stuff!

Taste

Oh man, I cannot describe how good this smells to me and what fond memories this smell brings back. This smells like a mix between banana split (duh), deep fried banana covered in chocolate, chocolate-covered banana ice cream on a stick, and chocolate-covered banana puffs (those might be more European). What I am trying to say is that it definitely smells like what I was expecting.

The taste is well balanced and no particular flavor is dominant, but you can taste them all. The banana flavor is mild but present from the start to the end, while the chocolate comes in just a bit after the banana, but lingers well into the aftertaste. The coffee comes out near the end.

The aftertaste is sweet. This One Drop gets really sweet towards the end and each sip adds another layer of sweetness. So be aware if you are not into sweet stuff. I don't like sweet things all that much, but I really enjoyed it because of the memories it brought back.

Energy

There is no indication as to how much caffeine is in the can, but based on my experience with this one, and the Vanilla Swirl, I would guesstimate that it is around the 100 - 120 mg range.

The effects of this one are the same as the Vanilla Swirl - a delayed uptake, followed by a brief jittery period, followed by 2 hours of energy. For more details, check out the length Vanilla Swirl review.

Scores:
Cost - $2.99
Taste - 9.5/10 (fond memories)
Energy - 7/10

Overall - 16.5/20...tastes great!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shark Energy Drink Review 2017


After what seemed like a brief hiatus from shelves, Shark is back! And it is time for an update and a review of both the regular, and the sugar-free versions. Both of these were sent to me by the company to see what has changed.

Taste

The regular version goes by Shark Stimulation Original flavor, while the sugar free one simply goes by Shark Sugar Free. Both of these come in a 250 mL can that looks like all other 250 mL cans, but upon closer inspection you will notice that the bottom has a straight taper giving it a sleek look.

Shark Stimulation Original

Pour this into a glass before trying it. I was expecting to see Red Bull's orangy color, but what I got was a light yellow color that is almost perfectly clear. On the other hand, the aroma is very similar to that of Red Bull but with a touch more citrus acidity.

But, like with the Shark I had 6 years ago, most of the Red Bull similarities stop at the aroma. Shark has a mellower mouthfeel with round candy-like sweetness to every note. You get a mix of berries and citrus that start off light, but build up quickly and leave a very pleasant aftertaste that is not too sweet.

To me, this tastes like a slightly better version of Red Bull without its acidic bite and softer carbonation. I liked Shark 6 years ago and I like this version just as much.

Sugar Free


The Sugar Free version has a more neon yellow color and has an aroma that is slightly closer to that of Red Bull. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than the original version and seems a little less round with a little more of a bite. The candy-like sweetness is present for a brief moment but it feels distant due to the lack of sugar. The berries and citrus are most noticeable near the finish and in the aftertaste, which has an interesting creaminess to it.

Overall, I kinda like this Sugar Free version. There are very few traces of the lack of sugar and the moderate bite and creaminess it has, distinguish it from other similar drinks.

Energy

There are 80 mg of caffeine in both these cans. One thing to note is the reduced amount of taurine. The Original flavor has 120 mg per can while the sugar free version only 7.5 mg.

The energy effects are the same as any other 250 mL can. The difference between the Original and the Sugar Free versions are the jitters the sugary one gave me for a few minutes. If you are looking for something without the jitters, go for the Sugar Free version which has a more controlled kick.

Scores:
Cost - samples provided, but available through 7-11 and online
Taste - 8.8/10 (Original), 9/10 (Sugar Free)
Energy - 6/10

Overall - 14.8/20 to 15/20...richer and rounder flavor than Red Bull with the same kick

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lucozade Energy Blackcurrant


This Blackcurrant flavor comes from a batch of new Lucozades that recently appeared on the shelves of the local Asian grocery store. The bottles were $2.59.

Taste

Whoa. I love blackcurrants and the aroma this one has is absolutely stunning. It reminds me a little of the Japanese Red Bull Blue Edition I had earlier this year.

The flavor is less intense than the aroma due to the carbonation at the start which prevents you from getting sense of the true flavor until nearly the end. When the flavor kicks in you get a combination of blackcurrants and concord grapes with a tiny acidic hit. I wish this was more intense.

Energy

Unfortunately, the label is entirely in a different language that I cannot understand. The effects that I experienced are comparable to drinking ~80% of a can of Red Bull. From a tired and groggy state, I started to feel energized and a little jittery within 15 minutes. In another 20, I was feeling cheery and ready to run. The effects lasted for a couple of hours.

Scores:
Cost - $2.59
Taste - 7.8/10
Energy - 5.5/10

Overall - 13.3/20...excellent aroma, but the flavor needs more kick